Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan and Sage
This soup has a long history--I concocted it as a newlywed when most of the butternut squash soup recipes I tried were too sweet. I began serving it from Italian coffee mugs at relaxed fall suppers and eventually it became part of our Thanksgiving dinners.
These cheese crisps are what Italians from the Friuli region in the northeastern and part of the country call frico. Even without the soup they are wonderful to serve as cocktail nibbles, alongside a salad or to garnish a plate of risotto.
Makes6 to 8 servings
Total Timeunder 2 hours
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursehot appetizer
Dietary Considerationhot appetizer
Equipmentblender, food processor
Taste and Texturecreamy, rich, savory, umami
Type of Dishhot soup, soup
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, cut in half, seeded, and cubed
- 2 leeks, white part only, cleaned and chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups well-seasoned chicken stock
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ½ cup heavy cream, optional
- Sage leaves for garnish
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, optional
Place the squash, leeks, carrots, and onion in a saucepan. Add the butter and salt, cover, and cook over low heat until the vegetables start to soften, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and cook, covered, until the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using a tablespoon, drop about 24 small mounds of the cheese onto a nonstick baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese melts and forms lacy crisps. Remove from the oven and cool. Set aside.
When the vegetables are soft, cool briefly, then puree them, along with the stock, in a blender or food processor in two batches. Return the puree to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Season with salt to taste. Add the heavy cream, if using, and heat through. Serve in bowls or mugs, each garnished with Parmesan crisps and a sage leaf. If you like, drizzle the surface of the soup with olive oil.
2009 The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Florence Fabricant